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Polish Red Cross Decoration of Honour 1st Class

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Hello Everyone,

I just got back home from attending a local show with my latest treasures. One of the items I purchased is this Polish Red Cross Decoration of Honour, 1st Class.

I could not find one on the forum so I am posting mine.

The Polish Red Cross Decoration of Honour was instituted 11 January 1929 and modified in 1937, 1945 and again in 1991. They were awarded in gold, silver and bronze (1st, 2nd and 3rd class) for merit in the fields of nursing, caretaking and blood donation. The one posted today is the 1945 to 1991 variation. This is based on the size (45 X 45 mm) and the eagle is not wearing a crown. After 1991 the eagle had a crown. I believe the white ribbon with narrow red stripes to be authentic.

The enameled cross caught my eye so I could not leave it at the show, you know the feeling. ;)

I hope you enjoy my latest addition.

Thanks for looking.

:cheers: Cheers


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Hi Brian,

Nice looking cross :beer: . Here's some additional information.

The first institution of this decoration was in January 1921, three classes plus a special grade, issued to towns, societies and associations. The first class can be seen on the first enclosed image. The reverse was plain with the engraving"Zasludze" (merit) and the 38mm ribbon was intense red with a 2mm white stripe on each side, 1 1/2 mm from the edge. It was worn

from a special brooch of white enamel, upon which were 3 red crosses.

The 2nd class (image #2 but miniature) was a 41mm silver medal. However on the regular size the letters on the reverse, PCK, should read PTCK (Polski Tawrczystwo Czerwonego Krzyza). I don't know why the letter T is void on my mini. Also there should be ball suspension and the engraver's name "Wabinski on the lower right of the reverse. The ribbon was the same as the 1st class, but suspended from a barrette.

The 3rd class identical to the 2nd, but in bronze

The special grade was 112 x 87mm, same in design as that of the 2nd and 3rd grades and probably a non-partable award.

In 1928, the decoration was changed by a decree of the Persident of the Republic, originally date Sept. 1, 1927.

The 1st class (31mm) was similar to your's, but void of rays coming out from the right and left cross arm. The rays consisted of one full cluster, flanked by two half clusters. The eagle had a crown on his head and the reverse was plain with the letters PCK in a semi-circle around the top and the word "Zasludze in a horizontal position. The ribbons were 37mm watered white silk moire with a 4mm red side stripe, 1mm from each edge.

The 2nd class was a gilt 30mm medal with a thick laurel wreath, bound at the bottom. Within the wreath is a red enamelled cross with a silver eagle upon it. Ribbon as above.

The 3rd class was a 26mm silver cross. A red enamelled cross is above is above a small eagle from the Polish Arms. To the left and right is a laurel branch. Ribbon as above.

The 4th class, identical to the 3rd class, but in bronze. Ribbon as above.

The statutes were changed once again in Apr. 1939. All classes remained the same, with a few alterations.

1st class, gilt 37mm cross with 47mm rays (now extending outside the left and right arm and increased in numbers, total 24) and a 18mm ring. The ribbon is white rossette. (I assume the extension of the rays on the 1st class was identical to the other classes, but I have no documentation to confirm it).

2nd class, gilt 30mm cross with 37 1/2 mm rays and 15mm ring.

3rd class, as 2nd class but in silver.

4th class, as 2nd class but in bronze.

There are some uncertain aspects i.g. the presence of laurel leaf ring on a specific grade, but the documents of the history of the awards were lost during the fighting of Warsaw in 1939. Any additional info is greatly appreciated.



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Brian, I need to make an adjustment to my earlier statement, in regards of the 1921 2nd class. Here's the correct obverse design, the figure of Christ giving blessing should be standing to the right. I have no explaination as to why my miniature differs or why the letter T is missing. Perhaps it's not Polish manufactured and the design wasn't fully known.



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Nice medals

always like to see red cross medals


yours is the late model,

I think some of them got out of the mint

with the fall of communism

as they were abundantly available for a few years

the early model looks about the same

except that the back of the medal also has a circular mint mark

there are miniatures also availabe for this

[i think some are still listed on ebay]

my own personal favorite of this series

are the ones that were made by Spinks during the war

sorry scanner is down, so I can share it right now

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  • 11 years later...

Hey Brian,

Aye, you bought the 1st class back in 2008. It is indeed from the Communist PRL times and probably from the 1980s.

There were actually 4 classes: 1st class gold 45mm; 2nd class gold (36mm); 3rd class silver (36mm); 4th class bronze (36mm).

On the award documents will be stated the class only like 1st, 2nd etc. (I have attached a document for a 2nd class gold with a 2nd class gold medal (36mm) awarded to Major General Henryk Rapacewicz, commander of the Silesian Military District (SOW).

From 1945/46 - 1989 there were at least 4 different versions all made by the National Mint. First version had engraved "P.C.K. Zasludze" on reverse. All PRL versions had identical design and un-crowned eagle - only the reverse differs.

Best regards Aahauge



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